Belgrade is colder than Natasha remembers it. The winter drags on and seems to follow her wherever she goes, in more ways than one. It’s been years since she’s been here—the only safe house she has left that’s still erect and not sanctioned by S.H.I.E.L.D.
She’ll eat her scarf if Clint’s not already here.
It’s easy enough to pick the lock. Inside, it’s freezing and dark, aside from a dim light filtering in from the kitchen. Quiet. Natasha steps inside and draws her gun, slowly making her way across the foyer.
When she crosses the threshold into the kitchen, she lifts her gun and immediately finds herself staring at the point of an arrowhead.
“That’s sweet,” she says. “I missed you, too.”
“Jesus Christ, Tasha,” Clint huffs. He lowers his crossbow and frowns. “You could’ve knocked.”
“Don’t you think this kitchen is a little small for that thing?” Natasha holsters her gun and starts pacing around the room, opening cabinet doors and glancing at the radiator. “Why is it so cold in here?”
“Guess nobody paid the heating bill. Haven’t taken my coat off since I got here.” He watches her, folding his crossbow and setting it on the table. “If you’re looking for bugs, I already swept. Twice. It’s clean.”
“Force of habit.” She grips the edge of the counter and glances over at him. “Barton, before you say anything, let me warn you: I’ve had a week.”
“It started with that haircut, I bet.”
Clint cracks a smile, looking right at her. For the first time in days, Natasha’s muscles leach some tension, and it’s so jarring that her knees almost buckle. Clint grabs her by the wrist and leads her into the bedroom, where a full-sized mattress sits on the floor with lots of blankets piled atop flimsy sheets. They both crawl onto the mattress, pooling the blankets around them, their sides pressed together.
A few minutes tick by and the room is silent, save for their breathing. Everything seems far away, just how Natasha wants it.
“What exactly have you heard?” she asks.
Clint rolls his eyes. “Everything. I do have a smartphone, you know.”
“So you know about Coulson.”
“Yeah.” Clint exhales heavily and shivers, pulling a blanket tighter around him. “That one threw me for a loop. Though I guess I would’ve found out eventually. I was almost back up to level six.” He laughs faintly. “Not that it matters. Clearances, secrets…whatever. It’s all bullshit now. Guess it always was.”
Natasha purses her lips. She used to have secrets. Loads of them. “Sitwell’s dead,” she says. “He was in on it the whole time.”
“Fuck him, then. Bald piece of shit.”
“God, it’s nice to hear someone utter a curse that’s not ‘damn’ or ‘dang.’ I’ve been hanging out with Grandpa Rogers for months.”
“Doesn’t he ever get sick of radiating sunshine and saving the world?” Clint looks at her, a careful look. He shows her his hand before he reaches for the delicate silver chain around her neck, the one with the small arrow charm. “I’m, uh. I’m sorry about Fury,” he says.
“Me too,” she says, keeping her voice neutral.
“Also…I’m sorry I dragged you into this.”
“S.H.I.E.L.D. HYDRA. The artist formerly known as S.H.I.E.L.D.”
“It’s silly to apologize for that.” She takes his hand in hers and kisses his middle knuckle lightly. “You really don’t like the hair?”
Clint smiles, wrinkling his nose. “It’s so straight.”
“Steve’s friend Sam seemed to like it.”
“If you’re trying to make me jealous, I’m afraid I’m far too busy trying to stave off frostbite.”
“Don’t be a dummy. We know how to fix that. Come here.”
Clint’s smart enough not to fuss as Natasha undresses him, shucking off his coat along with his sweater and undershirt. He does the same for her and when they’re both naked, they get under the pile of blankets and wrap their limbs around each other. Clint is shivering like crazy so Natasha sweeps her hands over his back, blinking in order to adjust to the dimness.
“New scars,” Clint murmurs. And he’s right—not that he can see them yet. They’re covered in bandages that he must feel scraping against his chest.
“Been a while since I’d been electrocuted,” she says. She kisses the crook of Clint’s neck, breathes him in. He probably hasn’t showered in a couple of days but he still smells good. “Can’t say I missed it.”
“I got tasered in Rio a couple of months ago. After a few times, the hair on your chest just stops growing back.”
“So I don’t have to go to the beauty parlor for a wax this month?”
“You’re good for, like, at least six weeks.”
Natasha clutches him tighter, noting that his tremors have subsided. She slides one leg along his shin. “I’m glad you’re here,” she whispers, nuzzling beneath his ear. “You’ll help me out, right?”
“Yeah, of course,” he says. He’s already starting to rub off against her hip. “Way ahead of you, actually.”
Natasha runs a hand through his hair. “What if I had meant something else?”
“C’mon, Tash. This ain’t our first rodeo.”
He’s right, unfortunately. They’ve watched the world fall apart more times than Natasha cares to recount. Once in a while, they’ve even helped put it back together. Clint dips his head to kiss along her throat, down to her cleavage, and she arches against him, molding their bodies together. They haven’t seen each other in months but this is a dance they know well. Natasha needs some major stress relief, like, yesterday, so she wriggles beneath him until their hips are lined up and his cock is just where she wants it. She swallows his answering moan with a kiss.
“In a hurry?” he mutters against her lips.
“You could say that. Hold on.” Natasha sticks her hand out, the cold air smacking her skin like a brand, and she fumbles in her coat pocket for a condom. She pulls her arm back quickly, already covered in goose bumps, and she shivers as she gets the condom open and onto his length. “Fuck winter,” she says, between gritted teeth.
“You can say that again. Any particular way you wanna do this?”
“Fast and hard. I want to forget my own name. And the fact that everyone else on the planet knows it.”
“We’ll start over,” Clint says. “Get you a new name.” He holds her by the thigh when she wraps her leg around his waist. “How does…Naomi Romanowski sound?”
Clint thrusts home hard and deep and Natasha loses her breath, as well as the harsh answering curse on her tongue. It burns a bit—she’s not quite wet enough, but she’s getting there. She grabs his ass cheeks with both hands and angles her hips, grinding onto his cock and smiling when he hisses from the sting of her fingernails.
“Take it you’re not a Naomi fan,” he says. He kicks off a fast, punishing rhythm. Natasha rakes her nails up his back and relishes the feel of every thrust.
“What about you? How about Clit Barton? Easy to remember, only have to subtract—ahh—one letter.”
“Is that supposed to be a hint? Because I was getting to it.”
Natasha smirks and flips their positions, keeping Clint inside her as they roll on the mattress. It’s getting warm under the nest of blankets but Natasha decides she likes it—the slickness of Clint’s skin, the sweat forming along his clavicle. She licks those droplets away as she grinds down, nips at his chin. Clint buries his hands in her hair and tugs gently.
“Better?” he asks, panting.
“For now,” she says. And Clint, bless his bleeding heart, just nods and lets her ride his cock, lets her take what she needs from him. Natasha leans down to kiss him; a filthy mash of their tongues and teeth that’s more brutal than romantic. Clint takes the opportunity to slide his hand between their bodies and rub her clit in time with their movements. Natasha shudders and gasps into their kiss. “Clint.”
“Told ya,” he says, grinning. Their nipples graze as they move and it feels electric. Natasha is definitely getting there, inching ever closer. “You wanna come, Tash? Take it, okay? Whatever you need.”
It’s not as though Natasha has ever required explicit permission to orgasm, but something about Clint’s dirty whisper brings her right to the edge. She muffles a cry into his neck as she comes, rocking forward on Clint’s cock so he hits all the right places. Clint doesn’t stop rubbing her clit, his nimble, callused fingers swirling in maddening patterns. Her second orgasm takes her by surprise, somehow even more powerful than the first.
“More, yeah?” Clint murmurs. He pulls away before she can reply and flips her onto her back, diving between her thighs. His tongue is hot as hell, hot enough to chase away the winter, and Natasha has to stop herself from crushing his skull with her thighs. She fists her hands in his thick hair and thumbs the shells of his ears because he’s good, he’s so good, and she needs him to know.
The truth is—despite any and all recent events—if she only gets one other person to fight with against the entire world, she’ll always pick Clint. But she doesn’t have the words to say as much, especially not now.
Two additional orgasms later, Clint comes inside her, having found his way back. Natasha presses her open mouth to his shoulder. Other people don’t get this from her. Clint’s answering kiss to her temple lets her know that he knows.
“What are you, on Viagra?” she murmurs.
“I’ve always been that good. I’m offended you don’t remember.”
They stay close even after Clint pulls out. He tosses his condom away and it lands on the floor with a wet noise.
“That’s disgusting, dear heart,” Natasha says.
“Hey, I’m not leaving this bed. It’s like the tundra out there.”
Natasha spares a glance for the radiator, just sitting uselessly next to the mattress. She positions her leg in the air, above the covers, gathers her strength, and kicks the valve with the heel of her foot. A moment later, the radiator makes a loud gurgling noise, followed by an unmistakable hiss of heat.
“You’re fucking kidding me,” Clint says. “I tried that.”
“Maybe it likes me more.”
“Everyone likes you more.”
It’ll take a while for the room to warm up but Natasha has no desire to leave their huddle. Clint looks drowsy and Natasha thinks she might finally feel the same, after several days without sleep. She rests her cheek against his shoulder and, for once in her life, tries not to think about her next move.
Clint beats her to it.
“Hey,” he whispers. “Since we’re both, uh, unemployed. Wanna go look for Coulson?”
“I already know where he is.”
“Of course you do.” He yawns and wraps his arms around her shoulders. “Fill me in over breakfast?”
Natasha pats his chest. “You make the coffee, I’ll break out the MREs.”
“Mmm, delicious cardboard,” Clint mutters, already falling asleep.